The two power connectors are positioned at the edges of the board, the two PCI Express 2.0 x16 graphics slots are widely spaced, and the ATA-133 and Sata connectors are laid down for easy cable connection. Pedants will note that four Sata connectors are laid down and one stands vertically. Regular folk may wonder about the odd total of five internal Sata connectors. The SB750 southbridge chips supports six Sata connections, and as Asus has specified an eSATA port on the I/O panel, that leaves five available inside.
Top down: another view of the board
The Republic of Gamers features include a SupremeFX X-Fi audio card that plugs into the top-most PCI Express x1 slot leaving two PCI Express x1 slots free for further expansion. The SupremeFX card carries six audio mini jacks along with coaxial and optical S/PDIF outputs which leaves the I/O panel looking incredibly bare as it only carries one PS/2 port, six USB ports, a single Firewire, one eSATA and Gigabit Ethernet.
A SupremeFX X-Fi audio card is included
The package includes a bracket that carries two more USB ports and a second Firewire port, and there are headers for four more USB ports on board - handy if you have case-mounted ports.
There are Republic of Gamers extras in the shape of an external Reset button on the I/O panel, while at the foot of the board you get Power, Reset and Clear CMOS micro buttons. Asus also includes its External LCD Poster, which is a small LCD gizmo that plugs into a connection just behind the I/O panel.
The Poster translates Post error codes into English
The cable feeds out through the I/O shield and is long enough to allow you to position the LCD Poster on top of the tower. In the event that a problem occurs during Post, the LCD Poster will deliver an error report in proper English instead of the usual indecipherable hex code.
Annihilator (Annihilator? Really?)
If you're building a new PC it's much easier to plug the CPU, CPU cooler, memory and graphics card into your motherboard and then install the OS and drivers with the system flat on the bench. If you suffer a problem such as incompatible memory or something silly like a duff cable it is much easier to sort it out on the bench than it is inside the case. If you get into overclocking you'll find that some motherboards will reset the BIOS after a problem while others will lock solid and necessitate a reset. In the latter case micro buttons are a Godsend.
oh, that's so cool
I want a motherboard with a big red start button on it that I can't see in normal use.
Just knowing it's there will increase the stability of my experience.
Why on earth would you need to do a "dry build" outside of the case? What settings are you playing with that requires it to be outside the case? I generally configure the BIOS with a keyboard myself. On high end mobos the bios reset switch is usually conveniently located on the back plate for any screw-ups.
Have always managed just fine with a screwdriver to jumpstart it - or indeed, an actual jumper. I often find I have a screwdriver to hand when building a rig :-)
I could forgive the button, were it not big, red with "START!" emblazoned on it.
I'm going to take your question at face value, although I suspect there may be some deep sarcasm that escapes me. Micro buttons are quite common on high end motherboards for Power, Reset and Clear CMOS. They are dead handy if you do a dry build of your system before you plug the components into your PC case as they allow you to tinker with settings and configure the BIOS without connecting the case buttons to the front panel headers. Micro buttons also avoid the need to short the headers with the blade of a screwdriver to turn the system on.
whats the start button for ???